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 EDACafe Editorial
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of AECCafe.com, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.

Innovating PCB Design: An Interview with Duncan Haldane, CEO of JITX

 
June 25th, 2024 by Sanjay Gangal

In the ever-evolving world of electronic design automation (EDA), JITX is making waves by revolutionizing how printed circuit boards (PCBs) are designed. I had the opportunity to sit down with Duncan Haldane, CEO and co-founder of JITX, at the 61st Design Automation Conference in San Francisco to discuss the innovative approach his company takes to transform traditional PCB design methodologies into a more streamlined and efficient process.

JITX: Bridging the Gap Between Chips and Boards

JITX aims to bring the same level of automation and efficiency to PCB and system design that has long been available for chip design. While chip design moved to code-based methodologies back in the 1980s, boards and packages lagged behind, remaining rooted in graphical approaches. JITX updates this by enabling electronic system design using a programming language, effectively bridging the gap between chips and boards.

“We designed JITX to use code instead of the traditional graphical approach. This allows us to design electronic systems, including boards and packages, using a programming language called Stanza, which looks a lot like Python but offers more powerful semantics,” Haldane explains.

A Unified Language for System Design

JITX’s approach involves using a general-purpose programming language to design not just individual boards but entire systems of boards and packages. This unified language allows designers to treat the system as a single integrated entity, optimizing across traditional boundaries like signal integrity, power integrity, and package design.

“The traditional approach involves using different tools and teams for various aspects of design, leading to numerous meetings and PowerPoint presentations. With JITX, all these elements are brought together into one place, allowing for a more holistic optimization process,” Haldane adds.

Read the rest of Innovating PCB Design: An Interview with Duncan Haldane, CEO of JITX

Homegrown AI Tools at Intel Shorten Design Cycles from Weeks to Hours

 
April 16th, 2024 by Sanjay Gangal

For decades, determining exactly where to place heat-sensitive sensors on Intel’s client processors required equal parts science and art.

Circuit designers would be guided by historical data when deciding where to place thermal sensors on the central processing units (CPUs) that go in modern day laptops. They would also rely on experience to know exactly where hotspots tend to flare up. This exhaustive dance could take up to six weeks of testing, running simulated workloads, optimizing sensor placement – and then repeating the process all over again.

Today, thanks to a new augmented intelligence tool developed in-house by Intel engineers, system-on-chip (SoC) designers aren’t waiting six weeks to learn if they hit the sensor sweet spot. They’re getting answers in minutes.

Dr. Olena Zhu, senior principal engineer and AI solution architect in Intel’s Client Computing Group (CCG). (Credit: Intel Corporation)

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Arm’s Broadest Ever Automotive Enhanced IP Portfolio Designed for the Future of Computing in Vehicles

 
March 25th, 2024 by Sanjay Gangal

By Tom Conway, Senior Director, Product Management, Automotive, Arm

New Arm Automotive Enhanced (AE) processors deliver AI-accelerated compute for automotive markets.

The automotive industry is undergoing seismic change and transformation. Vehicles, now and in the future, are being defined by the electronic systems powering them, as they essentially become “a computer on wheels” that are the most complex technology devices people own.

This complexity is being driven by the proliferation of AI and an exponential growth of software that are defining software-defined vehicles (SDVs). This requires new levels of performance, efficiency, safety and security.
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Intel’s New Tech Drives Smarter, Faster Cars

 
March 18th, 2024 by Sanjay Gangal

Intel has introduced a game-changing approach to how cars think and perform, marking a significant shift towards smarter, software-driven vehicles. This move is set to redefine what we expect from our cars, making them not just means of transport but smart computing hubs on wheels.

At the heart of this evolution is Intel’s latest innovation in virtualization technology, which is essentially a smarter way for the car’s computer to handle multiple tasks at once without slowing down or compromising on performance. This is big news for everyone from car manufacturers to drivers, as it addresses a key challenge in the auto industry: how to make cars that are not only efficient but also capable of delivering the advanced features and experiences consumers want.

A graphic shows GPU software virtualization capabilities that use a hypervisor compared with Intel’s plan for an SDV with hardware-enabled physical separation.

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Racing Towards Innovation: Parallel Worlds of AMD’s Semiconductor Engineering and Formula 1 Dynamics

 
March 7th, 2024 by Sanjay Gangal

In the dynamic realm of technology and engineering, the pursuit of excellence knows no bounds. Alex Starr’s keynote presentation at DVCon illuminated this journey, exploring the intertwined paths of AMD’s semiconductor advancements and Formula 1’s quest for the pinnacle of automotive performance. This exploration delves deeper into the parallels drawn by Starr, highlighting the innovative strategies, challenges, and triumphs that define both fields.

The Essence of Innovation and Execution:

Central to Alex Starr’s compelling keynote was the elucidation of AMD’s “corporate shift left” initiative, a visionary strategy that underpins the company’s approach to semiconductor design and development. This initiative, much like the strategic foresight seen in Formula 1 racing teams, prioritizes early integration of hardware emulation and verification, setting a new standard for efficiency and effectiveness in the semiconductor industry.

Alex Starr, AMD Corporate Fellow

In the high-octane world of Formula 1, every fraction of a second shaved off a lap time can be the difference between victory and defeat. Teams invest heavily in simulations and aerodynamic modeling to refine every aspect of their cars—down to the minutest detail—long before they roar to life on the track. This meticulous preparation ensures that when the race day comes, the vehicle and driver are in perfect harmony, poised for peak performance. Starr drew a compelling parallel to this practice with AMD’s approach to semiconductor design, where the “shift left” initiative represents not just a procedural adjustment but a paradigm shift in how products are conceived and brought to fruition.

By advocating for the early adoption of hardware emulation and verification, AMD effectively brings the future into the present, allowing engineers to anticipate and rectify potential design flaws well before they become costly or time-consuming to address. This forward-thinking approach mirrors the anticipatory strategies employed by Formula 1 teams, who use wind tunnel testing and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations to predict and optimize the behavior of their cars under a wide range of conditions.

Moreover, Starr highlighted how this initiative has been instrumental in accelerating AMD’s silicon bring-up process, enhancing the overall design quality, and significantly reducing the time to market. By identifying and solving problems early in the design cycle, AMD minimizes the need for costly revisions and reworks, ensuring that each new product not only meets but exceeds the industry’s rigorous standards for performance and reliability.

The “corporate shift left” initiative exemplifies AMD’s commitment to innovation and execution, underscoring the company’s role as a trailblazer in the semiconductor industry. Just as Formula 1 teams relentlessly pursue perfection, seeking every possible advantage to dominate the racetrack, AMD’s strategic approach to semiconductor design and verification aims to maintain its competitive edge in the fast-paced world of technology. Through this innovative strategy, AMD not only sets a new benchmark for excellence in semiconductor engineering but also inspires a broader reflection on the importance of foresight, precision, and strategic planning in driving technological progress and achieving success in any competitive arena.

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Intel’s Renaissance: Steering the Future of Technology with AI, Sustainability, and Strategic Alliances

 
February 22nd, 2024 by Sanjay Gangal

In an epoch where artificial intelligence (AI) not only reshapes industries but redefines our very understanding of innovation, Intel stands at the cusp of a new dawn, orchestrating a symphony of technological advancements, partnerships, and strategic initiatives aimed at positioning itself as the No. 2 foundry by 2030. The recent Intel Foundry event in San Jose, California, illuminated this path forward, marking a significant stride towards realizing this ambition. The event was graced by industry titans, including U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Arm CEO Rene Haas, and luminaries like OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, underscoring the collaborative spirit driving this transformative journey.

A Strategic Pivot: Intel’s Foundry Vision

At the core of Intel’s strategic realignment is its profound commitment to revitalize its position in the technology industry. Three years in the making, this vision is not just about reviving a company; it’s about igniting a global transformation in semiconductor manufacturing. Intel’s CEO, Patrick Gelsinger, shared the company’s threefold mission: to restore its pivotal role in the tech industry, rebuild Western manufacturing on a grand scale, and ensure the supply chain’s resilience and sustainability.

Central to this vision is the Intel Foundry Services (IFS), a bold initiative aimed at serving both internal and external customers. This move signifies a monumental shift towards becoming a major provider of foundry services in the US and Europe, challenging the status quo and addressing the pressing need for diversification and resilience in the global semiconductor supply chain.

Read the rest of Intel’s Renaissance: Steering the Future of Technology with AI, Sustainability, and Strategic Alliances

Synopsys Surges to New Heights with Stellar First Quarter FY 2024 Financial Performance

 
February 21st, 2024 by Sanjay Gangal

In an impressive showcase of financial strength and market leadership, Synopsys, Inc. (Nasdaq: SNPS) today unveiled its financial achievements for the first quarter of the fiscal year 2024, setting new records and surpassing analysts’ expectations. The technology giant, renowned for its comprehensive silicon to systems design solutions, reported a staggering quarterly revenue of $1.649 billion, marking a significant 21% increase from the $1.361 billion recorded in the same period last year.

This year’s fiscal performance not only signifies robust growth but also includes the positive impact of an additional week in the first quarter, a strategic advantage that has contributed to the company’s outstanding results. Synopsys’ GAAP earnings per diluted share stood at $2.89, with non-GAAP earnings reaching an impressive $3.56 per diluted share, eclipsing the high end of the company’s own forecasts.

Read the rest of Synopsys Surges to New Heights with Stellar First Quarter FY 2024 Financial Performance

EDACafe Industry Predictions for 2024 -Wisekey

 
February 8th, 2024 by Sanjay Gangal

By, Creus Moreira Carlos,Founder & CEO at WISeKey

Creus Moreira Carlos

As we look towards 2024, it is predicted that advancements in Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) could reach significant milestones. AGI refers to a level of artificial intelligence that can understand, learn, and apply knowledge across a range of tasks, equivalent to the cognitive abilities of a human. Should AGI become a reality, its implications for the semiconductor industry could be profound.

The semiconductor industry would likely experience exponential growth, driven by the increased demand for powerful and efficient chips capable of supporting AGI systems. The proliferation of devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) will require advanced semiconductors to process vast quantities of data quickly and reliably.

At the same time, the advent of AGI will necessitate a dramatic escalation in cybersecurity measures. As systems become smarter and more autonomous, the potential for sophisticated cyber threats grows. The industry will need to adopt robust post-quantum cryptography standards to protect against threats that can exploit the vulnerabilities of classical encryption methods in a world where quantum computing is becoming more accessible.

In essence, the semiconductor industry could well be at the heart of this technological revolution, providing the essential components that drive AGI systems while also innovating at the forefront of cybersecurity to protect the vast networks these systems will operate within.

Read the rest of EDACafe Industry Predictions for 2024 -Wisekey

EDACafe Industry Predictions for 2024 -Sofics

 
January 31st, 2024 by Sanjay Gangal

By Koen Verhaege, CEO, Sofics

Koen Verhaege

Navigating Challenges and Embracing Opportunities in 2024

The challenging year 2023 is finally wrapping up… Predictions were that it would be a transition year towards a better 2024. So, let’s welcome 2024!

First, let’s look back. 2022 was notable, albeit for the wrong reasons: warehouses were being filled to brace against new shortages. In 2023, these overstocks created a steep drop in production. Consider the foundry capacity utilization numbers: they are near 80% today, compared to being at all-time highs, above 100%, last year.

The key factors shaping 2024 will likely be geopolitics and the subsequent influx of tax dollars, as well as, the evolving role of Artificial Intelligence in our workplaces.

Geopolitics

Geopolitical tensions will be fought and lost through the use of dollar monsoons – not by war. All (wannabe) powers are releasing tsunamis of dollars (euros, won, yen…) to bring semiconductor production “home”. Politicians are sharpening their scissors to cut ribbons at new manufacturing plants. Many if not all of these plans will fail, at least they will fail to create autonomy or independence.
Read the rest of EDACafe Industry Predictions for 2024 -Sofics

EDACafe Industry Predictions for 2024 – Weebit Nano

 
January 30th, 2024 by Sanjay Gangal

By Coby Hanoch, CEO, Weebit Nano

Semiconductors in 2024: Predictions from an Emerging Memory Perspective

Coby Hanoch

In semiconductors, 2023 was a mixed bag, with some applications like automotive and industrial growing, while overall the industry contracted. Looking ahead, analysts agree that we will see significant growth in 2024 as the industry recovers. The SIA forecasts a 13.1% increase in sales in 2024, and IDC is even more bullish, forecasting 20.2% revenue growth for the semiconductor industry in 2024.

At Weebit, a leading provider of ReRAM, the non-volatile memory (NVM) technology that is set to replace flash memory in the coming years, this growth is a positive sign, since nearly every electronic device needs NVM. Here I will outline some of the industry dynamics in 2024 that could driver further growth.

AI will get even edgier.

We can all agree that 2023 was the year of AI, and 2024 will be even more so. AI technologies are proliferating in every industry, with solutions in the cloud and increasingly at the edge where devices require local brains with power-efficient solutions. In 2024, we will see an increasing number of edge AI designs, particularly TinyML, moving to monolithic integration in 28nm and 22nm. Integrating memory on-chip in an advanced process node can save cost and power, and enhance security. This is important as AI/ML models continue to increase in size and sophistication.

Since embedded flash memory can’t scale below 28nm, what’s needed for these integrated devices is a different embedded NVM that can do the same level of inference as SRAM or DRAM but at extremely low power and cost. This is where ReRAM comes in – used not only for code storage, but also to store the synaptic weights needed for artificial neural network (NN) calculations. As much of the power consumption needed for NNs is related to data movement between a system’s computing elements and memory modules, integrating dense, low-power NVM like ReRAM closer to the computing elements can minimize power and latency. In 2024, we will see more designs moving in this direction.

Read the rest of EDACafe Industry Predictions for 2024 – Weebit Nano




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